3 Small Things That Changed My Life

This might seem like a bit of a strange post but when I put the call out on Twitter last week for post requests, Claire suggested that I write about books that changed my life. That was a tough one for me to answer, but I could think of three small things that changed my life that I can share with you all. I may come across as a bit hippy-dippy in this post, but so be it!

01: What the bleep to we know? This has a bit of a strange story behind. I was at a crossroads in my life, and a friend of mine kept raving about this ‘documentary’ and how it had changed his life. At this point in time it was not readily available to watch online, so I just tucked it away in the back of my mind for future reference. Soon after that I was browsing the TV guide and saw that it was showing that day in the afternoon. Which was too much of a coincidence for me to ignore, so I sat down to watch it. It may sound strange, but it was pretty much exactly what I needed to see that that point in time. I felt a bit lost, and the idea that I could help create my own future just by being positive and setting my intentions for the day was quite intriguing to me. So I tried it, and it worked for me.

02: This is Water by David Foster Wallace. My best friend let me borrow her copy of this essay/speech, and I’m so glad that she did. The underlying message of this story is something that we should all take on board. I try to re-read (or listen to) this every few months, because it helps shift my perception back to where it should be.

03: Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus by John Gray. I know, right? I didn’t read the whole book, but what I did made so much sense to me. If you’ve ever come across road blocks in your relationship in the area of communication – try reading the communication sections of this book. It helped me so much. It’s amazing for me to look at how I’ve been trying to communicate with my partner as I would like to be communicated with, but he needs something different. I’ve changed the way I communicate with Sebastian after reading this, and it all feels so much easier now.

If you have any little things that have changed your life that you’d like to share, I’d love to hear them!

Life in Balance: Project #3 – Wardrobe (update)

Buckle up and prepare yourself for a lesson in reasonably extravagant spending. Having been on a strict budget for nearly a year now, I am not accustomed to spending a large amount of money on “things” anymore. I’m happy to drop a few thousand dollars on flooring for the house I’m building, but anything beyond that has become a foreign concept to me. Which is great. Anyway, that all blew out the window in a cloud of hundred dollar bills last week when I decided to buy a new bag. Granted, this was a thought-out decision as I carry a black handbag day in day out and the one I’m currently using was a cheap purchase that has holes in the lining and is getting a bit weary. I’ve had my eye on this bag for a while (as evidenced in this post) so I decided it was time to go ahead and get it.

Then, inexplicably, all sense of common sense and reason left the building for a few days.

OKAY! On top of my new bag (I ordered it in black, which now appears to be sold out), I also ordered a new wallet because the Rebecca Minkoff one I’ve been using for a couple of years now has started to annoy me with how few card slots it has (four!). Yes, I know how unreasonable that is. Anyhoo, I then had the sudden urge to own a Rebecca Minkoff Mini Mac bag, so I moseyed on over to Saks and discovered that they were on sale (25% off!), so now I’m practically making money. I ordered one in charcoal grey (now sold out), because for some reason the black bag only comes with yellow gold fittings. Gross. When buying a new clutch one must consider what she’s going to store her cards and cash in within this new bag, right? I didn’t feel like my Mini Mac deserved the old school treatment of me whacking a bobby pin on my stuff to keep it all together, so I decided that this was necessary.

Alright, stay with me here because this is where things start to get a bit blurry. While browsing through the bag section I stumbled across this compact little beauty. Did you know that the more things you buy from Saks the cheaper shipping costs to Australia are? Go figure. I ended up saving around $150 on this order, so I was quite happy about that. I can also justify the additional black clutch due to the fact the black clutch I’ve been using has GOLD hardware. Of course.

Oh, and then I bought some boots.

I only own one pair of knee length boots so I was in the market for some ankle boots for the season. I recently came to the conclusion that ankle boots need to have some sort of detail going on at the front, otherwise they look like they should be worn underneath something. These Rag & Bone babies fit the bill perfectly. I can easily wear them with both dresses and jeans, they’re great quality and the heel isn’t too high or too flimsy. (side note: They are also currently 25% off in the Saks friends & family sale. Run, don’t walk.) Aside from that I ordered a few new things from ASOS, including a new pair of sunglasses because I put my broken wayfarers in a safe while I waited for the chance to take them in and get them fixed and now I can’t find them. Ok, I’m done.

I realize that this is a lot of stuff, but I am happy that I didn’t buy anything that I was 50/50 on whether or not I would actually wear or use. Now I’m going to spend a couple of months building my spending money back up above the minimum total that I like to have in my account at all times. This little spree was fun while it lasted, and I’m really looking forward to my new goodies arriving soon! The spendthrift life is no longer for me.

Life In Balance: Project #4 – Health & Fitness

Winter is coming. This means my motivation to exercise and eat well will diminish greatly. To combat this, Kimberley, Jade, Maya and I have set ourselves a challenge. We’re calling it the gold star challenge because there are gold stars involved and it sounded fun. This challenge is open to anyone who wants to participate, so go right ahead and join in the action if you feel inclined to do so.

What you will need –

> A monthly calendar (mine is a free printable page from The Organised Housewife)

> Gold star stickers (or anything to mark your progress on the calendar with, gold stars are just a fun option)

> A list of daily, weekly, fortnightly or monthly fitness goals

It’s as simple as writing your goals and then placing a gold star (or marking the calendar as you wish) to symbolize that you’ve achieved your goal for that particular day. You can also join in on the action on twitter, just use the hashtag #GSC to join the conversation and keep us posted on your progress! Be sure to let me know if you’re going to participate so I can follow you and see how you’re doing. Best of luck!

Life In Balance: Project #3 – Wardrobe (update)

I went a little crazy when it came to spending money on clothes (and other things) during my week off of work, but when I looked back at my wardrobe list I realised that everything I’d bought fit into the range of things that I planned to purchase. I’m more than happy with my new items and am looking forward to the start of my favourite clothing season – WINTER.

My updated list is as follows –

2x Black Pencil Skirts
1x Black Pants
1x Black Cropped Pants
1x Dark Denim Skinny Leg Jeans (1 pair purchased)
4x Blouses
2x Black Tee
2x Black Tank/Singlet
4x Cardigans
2x Black, Grey or Navy Sweaters
1x Blazer
1x Black Fitted Coat (to replace H&M trench)
1x Maxi Dress
2x Casual Dresses
2x Black or Jewel Toned ‘Evening’ Dresses
1x Country Road Opaque Tights
1x Scarf
1x Sunglasses
(as required) Country Road Black Leather Ballet Flats (1 pair purchased)
1x Flat Sandals
1x Ballet Flats
1x Round Toe Wedges
1x Peep Toe Wedges
1x Skinny Leather Belt
1x Oversized Handbag
1x Clutch Bag
1x Cross Body Bags
1x Necklaces (1 purchased)
2x Earrings
1x Rings
1x Bracelets

Life In Balance: Project #2 – Budget (update)

Spreadsheets! As it turns out, spreadsheets are one of the easiest ways to maintain a budget. Who knew? Most people. Anyway, I sat down and drafted myself up a nice little budget only to discover that my end of year dollar total ended up being in the negatives. I promptly passed the task on to my dad, who not only brought me back into a positive dollar amount but turned my sad little spreadsheet into an easy-to-use thing of beauty.

Some general thoughts on my budget for this year –

* I refuse to cut my morning coffee out of my budget, which equates to $1300 a year. I may have to rethink this decision.

* I’ve given myself an allowance of $25 a fortnight for beauty products. This will most likely be saved and spent on necessary replacements (foundation, skin care, etc) when needed.

* My general ‘entertainment’ budget is a LOT lower than the amount I’m spending at the moment so it’ll be quite an adjustment for me. I’ll have to see how I go. Any fun and free entertainment ideas are more than welcome!

I’m feeling a lot better about my budget in general now that I have this structure behind it. Props to my dad for taking the time to help me make the spreadsheet and because it’s been so useful to me I figured I might as well share it. If you’d like me to email you a blank copy of my annual budget spreadsheet just drop me a line and let me know!